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Latest F1 news in brief
  • FIA says adjustable ride-height systems not legal
  • Former GP2 team Durango bids for 2011 F1 vacancy
  • F1 won't be left without tires in 2011 - Williams
  • Alex Wurz to be fourth steward in Shanghai
  • Hamilton also working in simulator after Sepang

FIA says adjustable ride-height systems not legal
(GMM)  Adjusting the ride-height of a formula one car's suspension system during parc ferme is illegal, the FIA has clarified.

The news comes amid continuing suspicion about the dominant Red Bull RB6 single seater, after McLaren accused the energy drinks-owned team of running such a system.

Red Bull, however, has vehemently denied the charge, with boss Christian Horner warning that he will protest any team he suspects is altering its cars' ride-heights after qualifying or before the start of races.

The BBC and Reuters report that a letter has been sent to the teams about the issue by the FIA this week.

It says adjusting ride-height with "any system, device or procedure" contravenes up to two regulations.

It had been rumored that Red Bull had found a way to adjust the ride-height by the permitted drainage of compressed gas, but the FIA letter adds that "any self-leveling damper system is likely" to also break the rules.

Former GP2 team Durango bids for 2011 F1 vacancy
(GMM)  The former GP2 team Durango has lodged an application to fill the thirteenth spot on the 2011 formula one grid.

The Italian outfit, founded in 1980 and also with experience in sports car and other forms of racing, pulled out of GP2 this year due to financial problems.

But with the FIA looking for a replacement for the failed USF1 team, Durango said the governing body has "officially acknowledged" its application to debut next season.

"After all the wrong things that happened (to the team) last season we tried our best to look for new partners in our racing activity," said team boss Ivone Pinton.

He said that during talks to rescue Durango's GP2 project, it was clear that investors were interested in "formula one and nothing else".

"So we pushed towards this direction and I can say that, to enter F1, we can now enjoy the backing of two very big international groups," added Pinton.

Durango was involved with Giancarlo Fisichella's GP2 team, ran Jacques Villeneuve in the Speedcar series, and was also linked with a bid to enter F1 in 2008.

Meanwhile, it has emerged that after missing out in last year's selection process, the Austrian investment company Superfund does not intend to re-apply for a place on the F1 grid in 2011.

F1 won't be left without tires in 2011 - Williams
(GMM)  Sir Frank Williams insists he is not worried that F1 will be embarrassingly left without a tire supplier in 2011.

"There will be tires," said the veteran co-owner and boss of his eponymous British team.

The subject of tires was discussed at length between Williams' fellow principals and Bernie Ecclestone in Malaysia last week, due to Bridgestone not extending its contract as the official sole supplier.

Among the suggestions are that Michelin could return to F1, perhaps in competition with Korean marques Kumho or Hankook, and perhaps with Le Mans-style low-profile 18-inch rims.

The idea of much wider rear tires has also been mooted.

"The question is whether we get them for free or whether we have to pay," Williams, 67, is quoted as saying by the German-language motorline.cc.

"There have already been talks.  Some of the companies have developed formula one tires in the past, others have not," he confirmed.

The Briton said that re-igniting the tire war would be an "expensive" route for F1, while Mercedes team boss Ross Brawn said he is not automatically opposed to the idea of changing the current rules.

"If a tire manufacturer wants to be in formula one, we have to consider their objectives and try to meet them up with the objectives of the teams," he added.

Alex Wurz to be fourth steward in Shanghai
(GMM)  The next driver to act as a formula one steward in 2010 will be Alex Wurz.

FIA president Jean Todt's new scheme, where an experienced former driver sits alongside the three other stewards at grands prix, is designed to add credibility to their decisions.

Alain Prost fulfilled the role in Bahrain, followed by eight time Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen in Australia and then Johnny Herbert at last weekend's Malaysian grand prix.

Austrian Wurz, 36, will be the fourth steward at the Chinese grand prix in Shanghai next weekend, according to Germany's Passauer Neue Presse.

He last raced in F1 with Williams in 2007.

Hamilton also working in simulator after Sepang
(GMM)  Lewis Hamilton also made the long-haul return flight to Europe in the wake of last weekend's Malaysian grand prix.

British newspapers reported after Sepang that it was teammate Jenson Button who was told to fly back to Woking in order to complete a day at the wheel of the McLaren simulator.

But now the London newspaper The Times reveals that Hamilton, 25, was also at the McLaren Technology Centre this week for simulator runs.

The Daily Mail also corrected its earlier claim that only Button had made the flight back at McLaren's behest, adding that Hamilton will then return "to his Geneva base to recuperate ahead of the journey to Shanghai".

"Arrived in Tokyo after a day at MTC on the sim," 30-year-old Button wrote on his Twitter page on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Switzerland's Blick newspaper reports that Toro Rosso driver Sebastien Buemi will be working on the Shanghai layout in Red Bull's Milton-Keynes simulator on Wednesday.

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